Joe was friendly with Peadar Kearney, Kearney's father hailed from near Ardee in County Louth, as did Joe's mother. Both had spent time around the area as youths and found that they had a synergy as a result. In 1918 Joe took over exclusive production, sales and distribution of The Soldiers Song and he became sole licensee of the tune that would eventually become The National Anthem. Periodical accounting took place and Joe paid Kearney all royalties due to him for sales of what Peadar often just called "The Song" as owner of the copyright. The two men remained friendly until Peadar's death.
On one occasion Peadar wrote to Joe asking him to confirm in writing that Joe had paid him royalties as perhaps the publicists at the time were not ?.
Joe was also in correspondence with PJ Bourke (Seamus de Burca) about Peadar's memoirs for his book The Soldiers Song".